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Social Interactionism in To Kill A Mockingbird

            Social interactionism is defined as a thought in sociology that explains social behavior in terms of how people interact with each other. In To Kill A Mockingbird, the main character, Scout, acts the same around everyone because she is just a little girl. Throughout the story, Scout experiences social interactionism through the people around her. Because the story is told from a little girl's point of view, you get to view social interactionism through innocent eyes. Social interactionism can inform a reader of To Kill A Mockingbird by explaining the multiple personalities of the other characters in the story that Scout witnesses throughout the book.
             Atticus Finch is a fairly static character. He didn't change much throughout the story, but in chapter 13, Scout witnesses a change in him. At the end of this chapter, Atticus tries to explain to Scout and Jem about where they came from and he speaks harshly to Scout when she is making noise with a comb. This sudden change in Atticus causes Scout to begin to cry. Scout thinks to herself "This was not my father. My father never thought these thoughts. My father never spoke so. Aunt Alexandra had put him up to this somehow" (Lee 134). This is Scouts first experience with interaction in social interactionism. Interaction is defined as "the influence of individuals upon on another's actions when in one another's presence" (Goffman 15). In this scene, Scout witnesses how Atticus' behavior changes when he is in the presence of Aunt Alexandra. .
             In chapter 2, Scout goes to school for the first time. Scout's first grade teacher, Miss Caroline, calls on her to read the alphabet, which she does easily. Miss Caroline then asks Scout to read most of "My First Reader" and quotes from "The Mobile Register." Scout reads these things with ease, which irritates Miss Caroline. Miss Caroline then tells Scout to tell her father "not to teach me anymore, it would interfere with my reading" (Lee 17).

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